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Winter-Proof Your Skin With This Simple DIY Salve

How To Make An Easy Moisturizing Salve

If there’s one time of year that’s especially tough on our bodies, it’s wintertime. For example, you can get sick with a cold, struggle with dry skin and hair, or end up with wind-burned cheeks from being out in the cold. So today I’ll be showing you how to make a concoction that can help you avoid all of those issues (and more!) throughout the coming winter and beyond: a homemade moisturizing salve!

This salve is made up of beneficial and natural ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil, and nourishing vitamin E. It’s plenty useful on its own, but you also have the option of making it more specialized by adding essential oils!

I’ll start by showing you how to make the base salve (or “naked salve,” as I like to call it), after which we’ll explore how you can enhance it with the addition of essential oils.

How To Make A DIY Moisturizing Salve (AKA “Naked” Salve)

salve ingredients

Note: The recipe below will fill 4 small glass jars (4 ounces each). You can use any size jar you like — just be sure to evenly distribute the vitamin E oil between your jar(s) when you get to that step!


making salve


Firstly, heat the coconut oil, olive oil, and beeswax together in a double boiler. Keep in mind that if you don’t have a double boiler, then you can always set a bowl over a pan of simmering water! Stir occasionally until completely melted.

making salve

Pour or ladle the oil mixture into jars, then let the oil mixture cool for a minute or two.

making salve

Then divide the teaspoon of vitamin E oil evenly among your jars. If you’re adding essential oils to the salves, add them at this point. See below for salve-ready essential oil blends!

making salve

Give each one a final stir with a bamboo skewer, then let them cool and harden completely.


How To Use It

You can use this moisturizing salve to:

  • Moisturize dry nasal passages
  • Heal dry, cracked cuticles
  • Treat chapped, wind-burned cheeks
  • Moisturize dry or chapped lips
  • Soothe insect bites and minor burns
  • Soothe diaper rash

Enhance Your Salves With Essential Oils

As I mentioned previously, the “naked” salve is already useful on its own. But if you’re dealing with a specific ailment, you can make it even more useful by adding essential oils! Here are a few of my favorite salves to make, along with the oil blends I use to make them.

Note: The amounts listed below are meant to be added to 4 ounces of salve. If you’re making a full batch across four 4-ounce jars, you’ll want to add the amounts listed below to each of the four jars.

Two pictures of a woman putting salve into a jar.

1. Pain Salve

Apply it to the site of any aches and pains. This powerful blend of wintergreen and camphor targets everything from arthritis to headaches, Firbromyalgia, neuropathy, tennis elbow, bone spurs, carpal tunnel syndrome, menstrual cramps, jaw pain, restless leg syndrome, tendonitis, and more!

A woman enjoying salve while laying in bed with a pink comforter.

2. Sleep Salve

Apply to the bottom of your feet before bed for a peaceful night’s sleep. This calming blend of lavender and cedarwood eases tension, while also moisturizing your feet. Plus, vetiver and marjoram ground you for deep, restorative rest.

Two pictures of a woman laying on a couch with a tissue while applying salve.

3. Respiratory Salve

Rub onto your chest and neck as a natural alternative to vapor rubs. Infused with eucalyptus and peppermint, this blend opens airways and eases coughs. Try a dab under the nose to keep you breathing easy all day.

A woman holding a bottle of salve.

4. Healing Salve

Apply directly to minor cuts, scrapes, and bug bites for quick relief and healing. This potent blend of essential oils like cinnamon and eucalyptus fights infection, while peppermint cools and soothes. A must-have for natural, on-the-go healing!

A woman applying salve to her foot while sitting on a bed.

5. Anti-Fungal Salve

Simple Clean isn’t just for sparkling homes – it’s also your secret weapon against fungal issues! Apply this to affected areas for natural anti-fungal relief. With potent oils like tea tree and cedarwood, it’s perfect for tackling athlete’s foot. Lemon and cypress add antiseptic benefits and a fresh scent.

How do you deal with wintertime dryness?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Beauty Tips

  • I’m so happy to see this.,l also like the DIY versions for the blends. It’s just cheaper instead of spending a lot on the blends.

  • Hey, I will be making this, but wondering if I can use anything in place of the vitamin E oil? Would grape seed or avocado oil work as well? Thanks!

  • Why isn’t the vitamin e oil added right to the other ingredients before pouring into the jars? I cam wondering how to divide 1 tsp of vitamin 3 oil evenly among 4 jars…. Thanks!

  • Hi Jillee! These salves sound great! I’ll definitely try some of them. My heels get so rough, especially during the winter. They definitely need some TLC. Thank you for sharing!

    • This works great, for both moisturizing your feet and helping you sleep. After applying to your feet, give it 5 minutes to absorb into your skin, and then put a pair of cotton socks on, before climbing into bed. You shouldn’t have any oil stains on your sheets.

  • Can the bees wax be substituted? I tried having hair removal waxing and developed a rash. I was told that happened because I’m allergic to bee stings and the wax used was bees wax.

  • I’ve used a similar formulation for chapped hands with great success. The thick mixture melts on contact with skin and sinks in. One could use cotton gloves for an overnight deep treatment. The salve is great for super dry winter skin.

  • This salve is so wonderfully simple. I’ve made up something similar for years to use as an all over ‘balm’ There’s little tins all over my house and in every family members pocket come the first drop in temperature.

    Is there any reason you add the Vitamin E oil to the jars individually, vs to the whole batch during the cool down phase?

    • A good emollient lotion, using healthy oils would be better. I make goat milk lotion, from my own goat’s milk. But any natural light lotion would work. Whatever you use, just make sure you put some water on your face and pat dry (with a soft towel) just before applying the lotion or salve. The purpose of applying moisturizer is to seal in moisture (aka: water). If your skin doesn’t have any water on it, your lotion/oils will not be as effective.

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